The First-Year Seminar: Designing, Implementing, and Assessing Courses to Support Student Learning and Success

Author: Various

ISBN/ISSN: Various
Year Published: 2011 - 2012

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The First-Year Seminar: Designing, Implementing, and Assessing Courses to Support Student Learning and Success, a five-volume series, is designed to assist educators who are interested in launching a first-year seminar or revamping an existing program. Each volume examines a different aspect of first-year seminar design or administration and offers suggestions for practice grounded in research on the seminar, the literature on teaching and learning, and campus-based examples. Because national survey research suggests that the seminar exists in a variety of forms on college campuses -- and that some campuses combine one or more of these forms to create a hybrid seminar -- the series offers a framework for decision making rather than a blueprint for course design. 

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The entire five-volume series.
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Volume I: Designing and Administering the Course
By Jennifer R. Keup and Joni Webb Petschauer
The volume opens by defining common seminar configurations, goals, and course topics, drawing on national studies and institutional research reports. It also offers guidance in selecting a seminar model. The authors also address strategies for launching and administering the seminar and successfully managing change within the course. Broadly conceived, this first volume in the five-volume series lays the ground work for more in-depth coverage to follow. (2011). ISBN 978-1-889271-75-0. 102 pages.
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Volume II: Instructor Training and Development
By James Groccia and Mary Stuart Hunter
Guided by an understanding of adult development, the authors suggest strategies for designing and presenting a comprehensive faculty development program in support of the first-year seminar. Chapters focus on the organization of one-shot and ongoing development efforts, content for training programs, evaluation as a development activity, and strategies for recruiting and maintaining a dedicated instructor team. While focused on the first-year seminar, the volume offers useful insight for anyone charged with designing faculty development initiatives for first-year instructors. (2012). ISBN 978-1-889271-76-7. 138 pages.
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Volume III: Teaching in the First-Year Seminar
By Brad Garner
Building on the conversation begun in Volume II on instructor training and development, Garner delves deeper into the concepts and strategies undergirding effective educational practice. Highly practical in nature, yet grounded in educational theory and research, Volume III offers a concise guide to teaching in the first-year seminar from organizing a syllabus, structuring individual class sessions, and engaging students in the classroom to conducting meaningful assessments of their learning. Because Garner focuses on the learning process rather than specific content, the strategies are highly portable to a range of seminar types and undergraduate courses. An invaluable resource for college instructors looking to improve their own teaching. (2012). ISBN 978-1-889271-77-4. 148 pages.
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Volume IV: Using Peers in the Classroom
By Jennifer A. Latino and Michelle Ashcraft
In an effort to capitalize on some of the more positive aspects of peer influences, colleges and universities have created a wide range of peer-to-peer education, leadership, and mentoring roles—especially in the first college year. Yet, the use of peers in first-year seminar instruction is still far from commonplace. Latino and Ashcraft offer guidance on defining the role of peers as co-instructors; recruiting, selecting, and training peer educators; facilitating relationship building within the instructional team; and assessing the impact of peer leaders on the course, the students served, and the peers themselves. Sample training agendas and activities, course syllabi, and evaluations are included. (2012). ISBN 978-1-889271-79-8. 116 pages.
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Volume V: Assessing the First-Year Seminar
By Daniel B. Friedman
Friedman, a recognized expert on seminar administration and assessment, provides a comprehensive framework for deciding what to assess, what kinds of data to collect and from whom, and how to use findings for continuous program refinement and improvement. The volume is a useful tool for administrators launching a new seminar or managing a decades old course. While centered on the first-year seminar, Friedman’s suggested strategies can be applied to a wide range of educational experiences in the first college year and beyond. (2012). ISBN 978-1-889271-81-3. 112 pages.
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